If you want to lose weight, start with what you eat. These healthy lunches for weight loss can help you plan your day for success with a good nutritional plan!
Nutrition is important for a healthy life. And we all know there can be a ton of hidden calories and chemicals in fast food and restaurant food. So making your own lunches and bringing them with you can make a huge difference in your health and your weight. Check out these great ideas for lunches on the go.
Lunches with protein
A classic deli turkey sandwich with lots of turkey and cheese on whole grain bread with baby carrots and non-fat yogurt is a healthy, low-fat, macro-balanced lunch option. You could also make a Thai-style wrap by encasing lean deli roast beef, Boston lettuce, shredded carrot, and mint along with a sauce of lime juice, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and fish sauce in flour tortillas. As long as you add enough protein, your wrap or sandwich meal will be balanced.
You can help overloading on carbs by choosing free veggies for your sides (free because they are low in carbs) such as green beans, summer squash, cucumbers, or mushrooms. My wife makes AMAZING pickled summer squash that makes a wonderful side dish for sandwiches in my lunch. I thought I would hate it because I have always hated vegetables. But as I’ve learned to give them a try, pickled vegetables are usually really good.
Pile cucumbers, tomato, alfalfa sprouts, and roasted red bell peppers in a whole-wheat pita along with chickpeas mashed with lemon juice for a vegetarian option.
Healthy Lunch Eating Out
You can still enjoy healthy lunches when you eat out. Start by avoiding fast food. There are so many chemicals in that food, it really shouldn’t be considered food. Go to a restaurant, and even better a local place that makes their food homemade.
Choose broth-based soup or green salads with extra veggies. Choose options like grilled chicken with steamed vegetables, spaghetti with marinara sauce rather than cream sauce, or broiled fish with a baked potato topped with chives. You can also do steak and veggies as well. Remember just a nice piece of meat and a vegetable side is a great meal that is balanced and has nutritional value.
Many times when we eat out, we choose steak or chicken fajitas with no rice or tortillas. We can have a few beans, some guacamole, or add salsa on top for extra veggie goodness. Skip the sour cream. It’s a great meal with meat and veggies and it has a little spice to it. Hot peppers increase metabolism so if you can avoid the heavy loads of carbs, you can eat healthy there too. Ask your server to hold sauces, croutons, or other add-ons that add empty calories as well.
And lastly, remember that restaurant portions are usually huge. I eat half of my plate and save the other half for dinner or the next day. I am down 89 pounds now using these techniques.
If you want more of my weight loss story and how I grew up on little Debbies and soda and learned how to change my health and life through exercise and nutrition, check out this nutrition guide. It has some basic dos and don’ts that my wife and I used for me to lose 100 pounds and be on no medication at age 53. There are also some sample meal plans in there. It was a long process, not a quick fix, but if I can do it, so can you!
Meal prep ideas for weight loss
If you cook at home, you can save a ton of time and money. Making bulk meals saves even more. Buy a bunch of what’s on sale and then make one big mess and freeze a lot of meals for later. It’s really the only way to have healthy food cooked all the time in these busy times. It’s very much worth the effort.
My wife has started cooking a big batch of vegetables once a week and putting them in meal prep containers one serving at a time and freezing them. Then later in the week she’ll cook a big batch of meat and add those to the containers. Then she mixes them all around in the freezer so we have different meals. Every week she makes something else on her cooking nights and we have a great variety of super healthy meals that meet our dietary needs for losing weight and eating whole foods.
I love her so much for her tenacity in helping us stay healthy. She’s a real gem and I appreciate her so much. She really likes only cooking two nights a week and I love helping her clean up on those nights so she doesn’t get too tired. It’s the least I can do for all she does for me in cooking them. We have a great system going. She does the same thing for her daycare kids. And if she makes a ton of pancakes or muffins for them, she can mix up the batter and I can keep on putting them in and out of the oven for her when she gets tired. We all find ways to make things work. And everyone has healthier food from it.
Heathy Lunches with vegetables
Here are some great ideas to cook at home in bulk or meal by meal and portion up for leftovers healthy lunches:
- Asian chicken soup by heating cooked chicken breast, rice noodles, snow peas, matchstick carrots, and broccoli florets in chicken broth. Add lime juice and soy sauce for flavor and serve with a salad of cucumbers mixed with sesame seeds, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and a splash of fish sauce. Serve turkey burgers made with extra lean ground turkey, a whole grain bun, and sliced cherry tomatoes.
- Baked sweet potatoes and red pepper strips dipped in nonfat yogurt mixed with lemon juice and smoked paprika and some fresh herbs. Add some grilled meat. Or chili is great in baked potatoes of any kind as well.
- Any grilled or broiled lean meat — chicken breast, tilapia, tuna, 97 percent lean beef, or pork tenderloin with brown rice and steamed fresh vegetables also makes a healthy, high protein, low-fat balanced lunch.
- Ancient Grains Pizza
- Steak Salad With Strawberry Lemon Vinaigrette
- Greek Pasta Salad Chicken
- Poblano Chicken Enchiladas without Tortillas
- Lemon Butternut Squash Soup
- Picadillo Chicken Taco Salad
- Spicy Chicken Burrito Bowl Recipe
- Chipotle Oven Chicken Kabobs
- Low Carb Millionaire Chicken Casserole
Aim to make at least half of your healthy lunches fruits, vegetables, or a combination of the two. Try a fruit salad with apples, berries, and bananas or a green salad with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and red onions. Not only are fruits and vegetables high in fiber, but they are also low in calories, so you can reduce your calorie intake and shed pounds.
Drink water or unsweetened iced tea in place of fruit juice or soda. Most fruit juices and sodas contain at least 100 calories per serving, but calorie-free beverages can help you significantly reduce the calorie count of your meal so you can make progress toward your weight-loss goal.
Ask a coworker to make healthy lunches a priority with you. Hold each other accountable and celebrate each pound you lose to help motivate you to stick with your weight loss plan.
Weight loss workout for beginners
The other component to losing weight is exercise. You have to move for health and vitality. We have group fitness classes in Muskogee for those who want to stop their couch potato lifestyle. We offer personal training as well. If you are not local, we even have some video workouts on YouTube that you can view. Here are some articles on workouts to get you started:
- Workouts for Obese Beginners
- Easy Workouts for Obese Beginners
- Weight Machine Workout Plan
- Gym Workouts for Beginners to Lose Weight
- Weight Machine Workout Plan